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An unsponsored Ethiopian from the open field took third place. Girma Bekele Gebre did not start with the elite runners, but still placed.
After the race, Gebre looked somewhat bewildered standing there next to two of the most decorated distance runners in the world. He has no agent, flew to New York from Ethiopia a few days before the race and stayed with a friend in the Bronx. He won $40,000.
“I started back in the second group, and just ran really fast to catch up,” he said through an interpreter. “I love running in New York. When the crowds were cheering for me, I felt really special joy.”
Gebre had been living in New York, but returned to Ethiopia in the spring when one of his brothers died while working on their farm.(11/04/2019) Views: 776 ⚡AMP
The first New York City Marathon, organized in 1970 by Fred Lebow and Vince Chiappetta, was held entirely in Central Park. Of 127 entrants, only 55 men finished; the sole female entrant dropped out due to illness. Winners were given inexpensive wristwatches and recycled baseball and bowling trophies. The entry fee was $1 and the total event budget...more...